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My Book Reviews

Read more about my rating system here.

Note: There are books listed here whose views I do not endorse. I try to break beyond my bubble and understand others. If you’re interested in my current beliefs, feel free to email me.

review ★★★★☆ 2023-09-15 When Things Fall Apart :: Pema Chödrön
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-09-14 A Walk in the Woods :: Bill Bryson
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-09-12 Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents :: Lindsay Gibson
review ★☆☆☆☆ 2023-09-11 If You Could See The Sun :: Ann Liang
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-09-10 Extra Virginity :: Tom Mueller
review ★★★★★ 2023-09-09 Player Piano :: Kurt Vonnegut
review ★★★★☆ 2023-09-05 Restoration Agriculture :: Mark Shepard
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-09-04 No Logo :: Naomi Klein
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-09-02 The Shadow of What Was Lost :: James Islington
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-09-01 Orbiting the Giant Hairball :: Gordon MacKenzie
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-08-23 So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed :: Jon Ronson
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-08-22 The Left Hand of Darkness :: Ursula K. Le Guin
review ★★★★★ 2023-08-21 The Omnivore’s Dilemma :: Michael Pollan
review ★★★★☆ 2023-08-18 The Design of Everyday Things :: Don Norman
review ★★★★☆ 2023-08-12 The Inner Game of Tennis :: W. Timothy Gallwey
review ★☆☆☆☆ 2023-08-09 Triumph of Seeds :: Thor Hanson
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-08-08 Bird by Bird :: Anne Lamott
review ★★★★★ 2023-08-08 The Diamond Age :: Neal Stephenson
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-08-02 Zen in the Art of Writing :: Ray Bradbury
review ★☆☆☆☆ 2023-08-01 How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor :: Thomas C. Foster
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-07-29 Last Argument of Kings :: Joe Abercrombie
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-07-24 Before They Are Hanged :: Joe Abercrombie
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-07-23 The Blade Itself :: Joe Abercrombie
review ★☆☆☆☆ 2023-07-21 Company of One :: Paul Jarvis
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-07-21 Fair Play :: Eve Rodsky
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-07-19 Station Eleven :: Emily St. John Mandel
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-07-17 We Are Never Meeting in Real Life :: Samantha Irby
review ★★★★☆ 2023-07-15 Story of Your Life and Others :: Ted Chiang
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-07-11 Kafka on the Shore :: Haruki Murakami
review ★★★★☆ 2023-06-29 A Man Called Ove :: Fredrik Backman
review ★★★★☆ 2023-06-25 Paper Menagerie :: Ken Liu
review ☆☆☆☆☆ 2023-06-11 White Noise :: Don DeLillo
review ★★★★★ 2023-06-09 The Grapes of Wrath :: John Steinbeck
review ★★★★☆ 2023-06-08 A Swim in a Pond in the Rain :: George Saunders
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-05-25 The Black Prism :: Brent Weeks
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-05-22 Lucifer’s Hammer :: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-05-17 This Is How You Lose the Time War :: Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
review ★★★★☆ 2023-05-15 The Rosie Project :: Graeme Simsion
review ★★★★☆ 2023-05-13 The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared :: Jonas Jonasson
review ★★★★★ 2023-05-11 Breakfast of Champions :: Kurt Vonnegut
review ★★★★☆ 2023-05-10 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy :: Douglas Adams
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-05-09 Baby-Led Feeding :: Jenna Helwig
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-05-09 Tell Me No Lies :: Bader, Pearson, Schwartz
review ★★★★☆ 2023-05-09 Atlas of the Heart :: Brené Brown
review ★★★★★ 2023-05-01 Exhalation: Stories :: Ted Chiang
review ★★★★☆ 2023-04-26 The One-Straw Revolution :: Masanobu Fukuoka
review ★★★★★ 2023-04-05 How We Got To Now :: Steven Johnson
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-04-03 The Walking Man :: Jiro Taniguchi
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-04-03 The Wintringham Mystery :: Anthony Berkeley
review ★★★★★ 2023-04-01 Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow :: Gabrielle Zevin
review ★★★★★ 2023-03-27 A Confederacy of Dunces :: John Kennedy Toole
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-03-26 Bridget Jones’s Diary :: Helen Fielding
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-03-23 Promise of Blood :: Brian McClellan
review ★★★★★ 2023-03-16 Anything You Want :: Derek Sivers
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-03-12 Learned Optimism :: Martin E. P. Seligman
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-03-12 To Say Nothing of the Dog :: Connie Willis
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-03-07 Get In Trouble :: Kelly Link
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-03-02 Slade House :: David Mitchell
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-03-02 The Bell Jar :: Sylvia Plath
review ★★☆☆☆ 2023-02-22 The Fall of Hyperion :: Dan Simmons
review ★★★★★ 2023-02-13 The Anthropocene Reviewed :: John Green
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-02-13 Me Talk Pretty One Day :: David Sedaris
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-02-09 Zero to One :: Peter Thiel
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-02-05 Artemis :: Andy Weir
review ★★★★☆ 2023-02-02 Hyperion :: Dan Simmons
review ★★★☆☆ 2023-01-27 The War of Art :: Steven Pressfield
review ★★★★☆ 2023-01-26 God’s Debris :: Scott Adams
review ★★★★☆ 2023-01-24 Interview with the Vampire :: Anne Rice
review ★★★★★ 2023-01-21 Norwegian Wood :: Haruki Murakami
review ★★★★☆ 2023-01-18 The Way of Kings :: Brandon Sanderson
review ★★★★★ 2022-12-25 The Handmaid’s Tale :: Margaret Atwood
review ★★★★☆ 2022-12-19 Animal Farm :: George Orwell
review ★★★★☆ 2022-12-04 The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) :: Terry Pratchett
review ★★★★☆ 2022-11-27 The Remains of the Day :: Kazuo Ishiguro
review ★★★☆☆ 2022-11-19 The Stranger :: Albert Camus
review ★★★★★ 2022-11-13 Metamorphosis :: Franz Kafka
review ★★☆☆☆ 2022-10-30 Discipline is Destiny :: Ryan Holiday
review ★★★★☆ 2022-10-16 Ubik :: Phillip K. Dick
review ★★★★☆ 2022-10-09 Triggers :: Marshall Goldsmith
review ★★★☆☆ 2022-10-02 Book of the New Sun :: Gene Wolf
review ★★★★☆ 2022-09-02 Solaris :: Stanislaw Lem
review ★★★★★ 2022-08-18 The Good Earth :: Pearl S. Buck
★★★☆☆ 2022 Cryptonomicon :: Neal Stephenson
★★★☆☆ 2022 Neverwhere :: Neil Gaiman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Anything You Want :: Derek Sivers
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 How to Live :: Derek Sivers
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Sum: Tales from the Afterlives :: David Eagleman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Let It Rot! :: Stu Campbell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 The Resilient Farm and Homestead :: Falk
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Gardening Under Lights :: Halleck
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Digital Minimalism :: Cal Newport
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 So Good They Can’t Ignore You :: Cal Newport
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Discovering Japanese Handplanes :: Scott Wynn
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Japanese Woodworking Tools :: Toshio Odate
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 The Care And Use Of Japanese Woodworking Tools :: Kip Mesirow and Ron Herman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Hand Tools :: Aldren A. Watson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 The Minimalist Woodworker :: Vic Tessolin
☆☆☆☆☆ 2022 Furnitechture :: Anna Yudina
★★★☆☆ 2022 Anathem :: Neal Stephenson
★☆☆☆☆ 2022 How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read :: Pierre Bayard
★★★☆☆ 2021 Name of the Wind :: Patrick Rothfuss
☆☆☆☆☆ 2020 Mistborn: The Hero of Ages :: Brandon Sanderson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2020 Mistborn: The Well of Ascension :: Brandon Sanderson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2020 Mistborn: The Final Empire :: Brandon Sanderson
★★★★☆ Sapiens :: Yuval Noah Harari
★★★☆☆ Zero to One :: Peter Tiel
★★★☆☆ How to Stop Worrying and Start Living :: Dale Carnegie
★★☆☆☆ Talking to Strangers :: Malcolm Gladwell
★★★★★ Catch-22 :: Joseph Heller
★★★☆☆ The Tao is Silent :: Raymond Smullyan
★★★★☆ Seveneves :: Neal Stephenson
☆☆☆☆☆ The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt :: Edmund Morriss
☆☆☆☆☆ Distrust That Particular Flavor :: William Gibson
★★★☆☆ The Circle :: Dave Eggers
★★★★☆ Hell Yeah or No :: Derek Sivers
★★☆☆☆ 12 Rules for Life :: Jordan Peterson
★★☆☆☆ 2020 Ready, Player One :: Ernest Cline
★★★★★ 2019 Snowcrash :: Neal Stephenson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2019 Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency :: Douglas Adams
☆☆☆☆☆ 2019 Annihilation :: Jeff VanderMeer
★★☆☆☆ 2019 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time :: Mark Haddon
★★★☆☆ 2019 Daemon :: Daniel Suarez
☆☆☆☆☆ 2019 High-Tech Heretic :: Cliff Stoll
☆☆☆☆☆ 2019 Smalltalk-80
★★★☆☆ 2018 The Broom of the System :: David Foster Wallace
☆☆☆☆☆ 2018 Consider the Lobster :: David Foster Wallace
☆☆☆☆☆ 2018 A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again :: David Foster Wallace
☆☆☆☆☆ 2018 Starting Strength: Basic barbell Training :: Mark Rippetoe
★★★☆☆ Dune :: Frank Herbert
☆☆☆☆☆ Trigger Warning :: Neil Gaiman
☆☆☆☆☆ The Lies of Loch Lamorah :: Scott Lynch
☆☆☆☆☆ The Information :: James Gleick
☆☆☆☆☆ Benjamin Franklin :: Walter Isaacson
☆☆☆☆☆ Awaken the Giant Within :: Tony Robbins
☆☆☆☆☆ The Mythical Man Month :: Fred Brooks
☆☆☆☆☆ 2017 The Graveyard Book :: Neil Gaiman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2017 To Mock a Mockingbird :: Raymond Smullyan
☆☆☆☆☆ On the Shortness of Life :: Seneca
☆☆☆☆☆ To Mock a Mockingbird :: Raymond Smullyan
☆☆☆☆☆ Antifragile :: Nassim Taleb
☆☆☆☆☆ V for Vendetta :: Alan Moore
☆☆☆☆☆ Watchmen :: Alan Moore
★★★☆☆ Rise & Fall of Dinosaurs :: Steve Brusatte
★★★★☆ The Tao of Poo :: Benjamin Hoff
☆☆☆☆☆ Thinking, Fast and Slow :: Kahneman
★★★★★ Tao Te Ching :: Lao Tzu
★★★★★ How to Win Friends and Influence People :: Dale Carnegie
☆☆☆☆☆ 2015 Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls :: David Sedaris
☆☆☆☆☆ 2015 Musashi :: Yoshikawa
☆☆☆☆☆ 2015 Faster :: Gleick
★★★★★ 2015 Guns, Germs, and Steel :: Jared Diamond
☆☆☆☆☆ 2015 Metamagical Themas :: Douglas Hofstadter
☆☆☆☆☆ 2015 Spark Joy :: Marie Kondo
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Contagious :: Jonah Berger
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Love Does :: Goff
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs :: Klosterman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Tao is Silent :: Smullyan
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 American Gods :: Gaiman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Business Adventures :: Brooks
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again :: David Foster Wallace
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Power of Habit :: Charles Duhigg
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 I am a Strange Loop :: Douglas Hofstadter
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Paradox of Choice :: Schwartz
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Black Swan :: Nassim Taleb
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The 4-Hour Body :: Ferriss
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Innovators :: Isaacson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up :: Kondo
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 What Do You Care What Other People Think? :: Richard Feynmann
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynmann! :: Richard Feynmann
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Being Taoist :: Wong
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Antifragile :: Taleb
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 How We Got to Now :: Johnson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Waking Up :: Harris
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Martian :: Weir
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Learning to Silence the Mind :: Osho
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Managing Oneself :: Drucker
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Smartcuts :: Snow
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Ignore Everybody :: MacLeod
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 What If? :: Munroe
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Fountainhead :: Rand
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 Dropping Ashes on the Buddha :: Sahn
☆☆☆☆☆ 2014 The Alchemist :: Cohelo
★☆☆☆☆ 2013 Gifted Hands :: Ben Carson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Oedipus Rex :: Sophocles
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Zhuangzi
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Agricola :: Tacitus
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 David and Goliath :: Gladwell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Theodore Roosevelt: His Essential Wisdom :: Gangi
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Without their Permission :: Ohanian
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 The Bad Beginning :: Snicket
★☆☆☆☆ 2013 Think Big and Kick Ass :: Trump
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Oedipus Rex :: Sophocles
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Foundation :: Asimov
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Second Foundation :: Asimov
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Foundation’s Edge :: Asimov
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Ender’s Game :: Card
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Speaker for the Dead :: Card
☆☆☆☆☆ 2013 Think Like a Freak :: Levitt & Dubner
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Moonwalking with Einstein :: Foer
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Siddhartha :: Hesse
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 A Visual Dictionary of Architecture :: Ching
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Republic :: Plato
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 This is a Book :: Martin
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 In Pursuit of Elegance :: May
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Divine Comedy, Part 1: Inferno :: Alighieri
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Virtue of Selfishness :: Rand
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Selfish Gene :: Dawkins
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 HTML5/CSS3 :: Castro and Hyslop
★★★★★ 2012 Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid :: Hofstadter
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance :: Pirsing
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Fermat’s Enigma :: Singh
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The People Code :: Hartman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Te-Tao Ching :: Lao-Tzu
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Catcher in the Rye :: Salinger
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Great Gatsby :: Fitzgerald
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Cat’s Cradle :: Vonnegut
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 5000BC :: Smullyan
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Walden :: Thoreau
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Instant: The Story of Polaroid :: Bonanos
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Snowball :: Schroeder
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Musicophilia :: Sacks
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Second Nature :: Edelman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Gödel’s Proof :: Nagel and Newman
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Emergence :: Johnson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Two Great Truths :: Griffin
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Executive Mind :: Goldberg
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 How to Build a Mind :: Aleksandern
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 How to Become a Straight-A Student :: Newport
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy :: Adams
★☆☆☆☆ 2012 Halftime :: Buford
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Mastery :: Greene
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Taoism :: Oldstone-Moore
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Artificial Intelligence: The Basics :: Warwick
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Big Data :: Schonberger and Cukier
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Show Me How :: Fagerstrom and Smith
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Tao of Pooh :: Hoff
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 The Autobiography of Mark Twain :: Mark Twain
☆☆☆☆☆ 2012 Hackers and Painters :: Graham
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 iWoz :: Wozniak
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Steve Jobs :: Isaacson
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Age of Reason :: Paine
★☆☆☆☆ 2011 Your God is Too Small :: Phillips
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Way to Wealth :: Franklin
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Stuff Every Man Should Know :: Cohen
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Economics of Public Issues :: Miller, Benjamin, and North
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Cannery Row :: Steinbeck
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Communist Manifesto :: Marx
★☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Renaissance Soul :: Lobenstine
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Flatland :: Abbott
★★☆☆☆ 2011 Atlas Shrugged :: Rand
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Mentor :: Ayres
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Alice in Quantumland :: Gilmore
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Prince :: Machiavelli
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 A Study in Scarlet & Hound of the Baskervilles :: Doyle
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 A Clockwork Orange :: Burgess
★★★★★ 2011 Catch-22 :: Heller
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes :: Hamilton
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Fight Club :: Palahnluk
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Slaughterhouse Five :: Vonnegurt
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Young Man’s Guide :: Alcott
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 A Brave New World :: Huxley
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Blink :: Gladwell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt :: Morris
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 A Brief History of Time :: Hawking
★☆☆☆☆ 2011 Steps to Christ :: White
★★☆☆☆ 2011 Batman: The Killing Joke :: Moore
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The God Delusion :: Dawkins
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Rules of Civility :: Washington
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Perks of Being a Wall Flawer :: Chbosky
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Art of War :: Sun Tzu
★★★☆☆ 2011 Twilight :: Meyers
★★☆☆☆ 2011 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone :: Rowling
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 King, Warrior, Magician, Lover :: Moore and Gillette
★☆☆☆☆ 2011 There is a God :: Flew
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Drive :: Pink
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Book of Five Rings :: Musashi
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Problems of Philosophy :: Russell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Tao of Jeet Kune Do :: Lee
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Outliers :: Gladwell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Reasons for God :: Keller
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Art of Getting Things Done :: David Allen
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Shape of Design :: Chimero
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Increasing Personal Efficiency :: Conwell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Chaos :: Gleick
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Anthem :: Rand
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Consider the Lobster :: Wallace
★☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Alpha Male Guide :: Beck
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 What the Dog Saw :: Gladwell
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 Freakonomics :: Levitt and Dubner
☆☆☆☆☆ 2011 The Hunger Games :: Suzanne Collins
☆☆☆☆☆ Flowers for Algernon :: Daniel Keys
☆☆☆☆☆ Uzumaki :: Junji Ito
☆☆☆☆☆ Only Revolutions :: Mark Z. Danielewski
☆☆☆☆☆ House of Leaves :: Mark Z. Danielewski

When Things Fall Apart

Her essays feel like an incredible mix of Alan Watts and Brené Brown. This stuff is life-changing. I’m in love!

A Walk in the Woods

An imperfect-yet-hilarious account of an ambitious hike up the Appalachian Trail. Besides being charming and incredibly well-written, the ecological tangents hit super hard. Species of all kinds are going extinct at unfathomable rates. I’ve heard the stats before and was unmoved, but his anecdotes somehow seared Nature’s impending peril into my arteries.

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

This book should be required reading for anybody with strained family relations. Although not very dense or academic, there are tons of gems to be found.

If You Could See The Sun

Interesting premise for young-adult-gets-superpower book, but with a cringey execution.

Extra Virginity

And suddenly I’m an olive oil snob.

Player Piano

It’s not Vonnegut’s funniest nor best-written work, but it’s a parable of technology/automation that will have a lasting impact on me.

Restoration Agriculture

One of the most practical takes on permaculture, but somehow integrates a long-view of how biomes develop on Earth. Very convincing arguments for switching to perennial-oriented farming. Strong and reasonable opinions that I haven’t heard via other permaculture channels.

Thorough dissection of corporations, branding, and activism.

The Shadow of What Was Lost

Unoriginal young adult “chosen one” power fantasy with cool takes on time and fate.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Whimsical take on corporate creativity. Seems useful for people trapped in certain types of large organizations.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

A well-written book on a topic I care surprisingly little about.

The Left Hand of Darkness

Solid science fiction with awesome spiritual insight.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

A rare non-fiction masterpiece. Pollan asks and answers all the right questions about humanity’s relationship with food.

The Design of Everyday Things

The definitive guide to design – a must-read for all makers and managers.

The Inner Game of Tennis

A strange but wonderful book that teaches how to teach/learn through meditation-like techniques.

Triumph of Seeds

Seed biology is a super cool topic, but the author’s writing style irked me.

Bird by Bird

Solid writing advice and potentially good memoir smashed into a mediocre package.

The Diamond Age

An incredible exploration of nanotech, education, global borders & ethnic groups, and intuition. Some character arcs were a tad disappointing, but that can be forgiven in the sheer volume of ideas put to paper.

Zen in the Art of Writing

A “zesty” book that is both a disappointing memoir and unhelpful writing guide.

How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor

Insufferable drivel.

The First Law Trilogy

An unremarkable young-adult fantasy series with a bold ending that somehow captured my attention.

Company of One

I struggled to find anything interesting or actionable from this book. I’d suggest reading Derek Sivers’s Anything You Want instead, which delivers many of the same opinions in a potent dose.

Fair Play

Fair Play is a manifesto and guide for balancing domestic labor. I think it made a lot of good points, and I can imagine its clever card game/exercise being a useful tool for couples. I’d recommend this book to couples straining to fairly distribute work. I suspect that clear division of responsibilities with moderate time-tracking would be a great move for all households.

Station Eleven

Well-written book with a premise that didn’t hook me.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life

Funny/sad essays about health and money and maturity and love.

Story of Your Life and Others

Another incredible collection of sci-fi shorts by Ted Chiang.

Kafka on the Shore

I totally get that this book is subtle and clever, but sorry, it didn’t really make feel anything. And the sheer volume of media references made me feel like I was reading Ready Player One for self-aggrandized Mensa members.

The 19-year-old-philosophy-student-sex-scene from Kafka on the Shore embodies much of Murakami: pretentious, captivating, and horny.

A Man Called Ove

Heart-warming dark comedy about a grumpy old man who wants to die.

Paper Menagerie

Great short story collection exploring China, technology, and the power of words.

White Noise

This book produces a cool metanarrative about finding meaning amongst noise. It also made me chuckle in quite a few parts. I really liked the characterization of the main couple; despite its humorous takes, I think the story displays a lot of elements of a realistic healthy relationship. I only read one third of this book, because I’m a bit burnt out on modern/postmodern literature right now. It seems worth another try at some point in the future though.

The Grapes of Wrath

This book is a passionate exploration of United States’ culture. It brilliantly covers capitalism, hunger, determination, distance, inequality, crime, family, and xenophobia. I also loved the poetic flourishes littered throughout the story. The world would probably be a kinder place if everybody read this book.

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

A collection of engaging short stories with helpful analyses and writing advice.

The audiobook is read by an incredible cast: George Saunders, Phylicia Rashad, Nick Offerman, Glenn Close, Keith David, Rainn Wilson, BD Wong, and Renée Elise Goldsberry

The Black Prism

Decent fantasy story with a compelling hard magic system based on the light spectrum.

Lucifer’s Hammer

An extraordinary number of people hope for the world to end in their lifetimes.

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Borderline pretentious but short, beautiful, and entertaining.

The Rosie Project

Delightful romance story from the perspective of an autistic man.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

An irreverent Forrest Gump story. Incredible comedic payoffs. Required reading for rascals.

Breakfast of Champions

A wacky book about crazy people for crazy people by crazy people. It’s Vonnegut’s incisive alien wit at its best.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Classic, clever comedy.

Baby-Led Feeding

This book details how and why to transition babies to solids early. It provides helpful guidance on safety and nutrition. The book comprises mostly simple recipes that seem tasty enough for adults and babies to share.

Tell Me No Lies

Wading through pages of filler to find a few worthwhile gems about lies in relationships. Sam Harris’s short treatise on lying is a more potent and practical read.

Atlas of the Heart

An engaging encyclopedia of emotions.

Exhalation: Stories

A provocative short story collection about humans and technology. Each story will leave a lasting impact on how I see the world. Highly, highly recommended.

The One-Straw Revolution

Human hubris knows no bounds. This book spurns modernity. It’s a charming case against science, technology, and progress. The pursuit of comfort makes life untenable.

How We Got To Now

This book is the best kinds of entertaining and informative. Six threads of technological history demonstrate the interconnectedness of ideas. It’s a refreshing take on inevitable innovation.

The Walking Man

Short manga stories about the experience of living. Breathtaking artwork in some parts. Inspired me to get drenched and walk barefoot more often.

The Wintringham Mystery

Clever mystery, but ultimately soulless.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Deep and emotional and insightful. A love letter to love in the language of game design. This book oozes “millennial”, and that’s a surprisingly good thing. It feels like classic literature written yesterday.

A Confederacy of Dunces

Nutty Professor meets Don Quixote meets Infinite Jest. A literary landmark ahead of its time.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

An endearing read about the difficulties of young adult life and womanhood in the modern era. Contains great tongue-in-cheek commentaries on health, feminism, egotism, and addiction.

Promise of Blood

It’s a charming adventure/fantasy story with good characters and cool magic – nothing revolutionary.

Anything You Want

I adore this short book. Anything You Want celebrates simplicity and sincerity. It reads like a guide to entrepeneurship for Taoists. I’ve read a lot of business books, and none come close to hitting this hard. Companies forget their customers and drink bureaucratic kool-aid in the pursuit of profits. As I’m starting my own business, I keep coming back to this book to remind me of why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Learned Optimism

This book has exactly three good observations: (1) optimists attribute permanent causes to good events and temporary causes to bad events, (2) optimism is useful when risk is minimal, and (3) optimism is dangerous in risky situations. Learned Optimism would have been an excellent 250-word book.

To Say Nothing of the Dog

Witty, but distractingly British.

Get In Trouble

The Summer People is one of the best short stories I’ve ever encountered. The other stories in this collection are well-written but failed to hit me in the feels – intriguing plot premises and a great literary style wasted on young-adult subject matter.

Slade House

This book is a structural marvel but hollow inside. It gives great pacing with lackluster payoffs.

The Bell Jar

This is a must-read for anybody who wants to learn what it’s like to have a mental breakdown, or love somebody in a dark place. This book was well-written but too painfully familiar. This book made me sad without being charming or teaching me anything new. It stole from me and gave me nothing in return, but I imagine it has much to give others.

The Fall of Hyperion

This book seemed to have a lot to say. It wanted to be philosophical, it wanted to be adventurous, it wanted to be suspenseful, it wanted to be mysterious, and it wanted to be thought-provoking. But in my opinion, it didn’t do a great job at anything in particular. Or maybe its brilliance was wasted on me.

The Anthropocene Reviewed

Painfully human essays; five stars.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Witty and deeply personal essay collection. Great insights on parenting, grief, pets, language, and addiction.

Zero to One

Solid book on the how & why of founding a startup.


This book is a well-researched sci-fi MacGyver adventure story. It’s got great characters and a fast plot. Solid book.


Hyperion is unusually refreshing sci-fi. It’s 6-8 interconnected short stories with drama, horror, mystery, and awe. Some sections didn’t age well, but the writing is incredible in some parts, and some of its ideas are downright brilliant.

The War of Art

If you need inspiration or a swift kick-in-the-butt, read this book. Since reading, I’ve been unable to make my usual excuses that divert me from my art and career and health. For me, every page contained a mixture of timeless wisdom and awful advice. This book is overall charming and pragmatic.

God’s Debris

From few axioms, God’s Debris forms a surprisingly coherent religion, philosophy of science, and practical life advice; a worthwhile ~90-minute read.

Interview with the Vampire

Imagine The Count of Monte Cristo meets Faust meets Twilight – it’s an epic tale with deep philosophical underpinnings… and vampires! This book is worth reading if you want to dramatically ponder death, love, and evil.

Norwegian Wood

This book should be labeled with an extreme trigger warning. It covers death and sex and more death and more sex and a whole lot of depression. Imagine blending together Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim, and a smut novel. I think I learned a lot about selfishness and happiness from this experience. I wish I read this when I was 19.

The Way of Kings

If Sanderson’s Mistborn is The Chronicles of Narnia, then The Stormlight Archives is The Lord of the Rings. It’s magical, political, and finely crafted. Brandon Sanderson knows how to write payoffs. This book alone contains 383,000 words, so clear your schedule before reading.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Much of The Handmaid’s Tale is surely beyond my comprehension, but it provided a sobering glimpse into some of the unfairnesses of nature and society. Atwood’s general take on United States fundamentalism is outstanding. The book is riveting throughout, but its ending secures it a “modern masterpiece”.

Animal Farm

Animal Farm delightfully illustrates how authoritarian regimes usurp control. Although the book seemed to be specifically a critique of Stalin’s Russia, there are gems to glean about perverse institutional incentives.

The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1)

This was my first Terry Pratchett book. Oh boy, what a delight! If you like clever authors like Raymond Smullyan and Douglas Adams, you’ll adore his writing. The Colour of Magic covers some surprisingly deep ideas about science and religion wearing a witty grin.

The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day is a subtle story from the perspective of a charming butler. I highly recommend this book if you’re in a wistful mood or receptive to deep introspection.

The Stranger

This book is very highly acclaimed. After reading it, I thought I missed something, so I read a few critical analyses – nope, I understood it perfectly. The Stranger has a decent plot with great writing. This book was probably ground-breaking in 1942, but existentialism has been beaten to death since then. On my end, this is probably a case of “Seinfeld is unfunny”.


Metamorphosis is potent. It’s witty, horrific, deep, and bizarre – an unforgettable experience.

Discipline is Destiny

This book was inspiring but forgettable. All the examples of disciplined people got me pumped, but I didn’t find much actionable content.


Good sci-fi stories explore “cool ideas”. Ubik miraculously interleaves 3-5 “cool ideas”. And it keeps topping itself with bigger and bigger extensions of its core “cool ideas”. Read Ubik if you like “cool ideas”.


This is a self-help book that delivers. It’s an incredibly useful guide on how to enact lasting change in yourself. This book focuses on growth via environmental cues. I particularly liked the concrete advice on daily active questions, accountability partners, and actionable ways to change cognitive contexts.

Book of the New Sun

These books are extremely subversive, yet the author falls prey to the exact tropes he’s “subverting”. The plot oscillates between mind-bending self-reference and painful self-awarelessness. Some of the twists are incredible. I suspect that this is an excellent book that aged poorly.


A sci-fi book that gave me literal nightmares. It’s unsettling and thought-provoking.

The Good Earth

A heartbreaking rags-to-riches-to-rags story about wealth, family, work, fairness, kindness, and land. It’s easy to see why a book about rural Chinese peasants was the best-selling book in the US during The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression. This book will inspire or haunt you.